Sometimes I just have to do it! Actively seek out pleasure and different experiences from time to time. It doesn’t always have to be a vacation, but of course it has at times. The point is that I have to break away from my figurative jail or the hum drum “day in day out” life, and open my eyes to things normally not in my radar. I guess this type of pursuit of pleasure could also be called a sort of deliberate caper. The best are when I meet up with new people or find an environment that seems almost foreign to me, and then become part of it, in a way.
If you’ve got the money and time, nothing beats a vacation to a very new place, but why not take it off the beaten path? My husband and I love to dedicate at least some portions of our trips showing up at odd-ball or remote places. We take economy train tickets to a town just briefly mentioned in a book we’ve read, or driving with no direction in mind. Some of the people (cultural interactions), and treasured spots that interest me most show up during these times. Just a couple examples of things my husband and/or I have done that fit these bills are:
- Driving across Costa Rica to the Pacific coast and staying in a remote cabin with monkeys jumping on the roof, an open air bathroom where we sat on the pot staring at toucans, hikes through groves of fruit trees with fruit we’ve never even seen in your life, and trying them.
- Using the local bus systems in foreign countries to visit towns only briefly mentioned in guide books. Great treasures hide in such places.
- Meeting up with a local and staying at their house for the night or saving money by sleeping on a bench in a park.
- Wandering into a disco or pub that rarely sees foreigners, and discovering local music.
Some things above may or may not seem like major escapades to you. An escapade will vary by person. It just has to be a step outside your normal comfort zone, and a risk for the sake of a bit of a thrill or some kind of fun. In the end, stories are made, you’ve been educated a bit, or maybe grown closer to your higher power. Who knows?
As I wrote, pursuing pleasure and stepping outside your normal realm need not be too far from home. How about embarking on a mini caper locally? Just do something you don’t normally do or go somewhere you’ve never been (or haven’t been for a while) at a time you’ve never been there? I’ve found myself seeing life in a new way and meeting new people by just minor escapades. Some that come to mind include:
- Going to a 24 hour grocery store at 3 am and dancing down the aisles with no fear of anyone seeing me. The joint almost empty, except for maybe one or two staff in the back and one cashier. When I saw someone I smiled and said hello. That sparked a unique conversation. Or the rare person I saw with their head down, in their own world, I’ve wondered what inspired THEM to be out so late alone. They can’t sleep either. Why?
- Skipping work one day to take a drive to my alma mater an hour away. I walked down the streets with the frat houses. Jumped on campus buses. Wandered through the university library smelling the books on the shelves. Pretended I was a college student again, even though I was 42.
- Going to the beach with hubby in the winter all dressed up in our coats and snow boots. We were surprised to see birds still there, but only birds and sea life that washed upon the shore. Otherwise, complete quiet except for the wind and sea. Then we went to a local café and asked what life is like when the tourists are gone. It becomes another world.
What things have you done to step out of your normal realm, or as part of a caper? What did you learn from them? Did they give you a unique kind of pleasure?